PowerSteering and BIO-ERA Launch Pandemic Preparedness and Response Solution

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Integrated package of software and services to help businesses respond to the threat of pandemic influenza.

We have helped numerous companies define a comprehensive approach to pandemic planning and preparedness

Bio Economic Research Associates, or bio-era™ (http://www.bio-era.net), a leading independent research and advisory firm providing analysis of the economic and business impacts of Avian Influenza, and PowerSteering (http://www.powersteeringsoftware.com), the leader in On-Demand enterprise performance improvement solutions, today announced the availability of a joint pandemic preparedness and response solution.

The solution is the first on the market to integrate professional services, project and collaboration tools, and process templates for executing enterprise-wide pandemic planning and preparedness efforts. The PowerSteering software platform is suitable for use in all types of disaster planning, and provides a back-up communication and coordination system for responding to actual disaster situations. Bio-era’s expertise in helping companies plan and prepare for pandemic influenza has been used to customize the PowerSteering platform with templates suitable for use across globally distributed organizations, for rapid pandemic planning and preparedness.

Enterprise Preparedness

Rudi Giuliani has said that preparation was critical to New York’s widely praised response to 9/11, stating, “We didn’t know how to respond to a disaster of this magnitude, but we had planned for fire, building collapse, medical emergencies and other elements. This enabled us to put the pieces together and respond effectively.” Recent disasters have increased attention on the importance of preparedness, and created the need for a solution to guide organizations through the planning process, and ultimately to responding in the event of disaster. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have provided a preview of the potential for business disruption, supply chain breakage, human resources impact, and additional costs that can occur when disaster strikes. At the same time, organizations are engaging in conversations with regulators and insurance providers about their disaster preparation efforts and the benefits of having detailed plans in place.

“We have helped numerous companies define a comprehensive approach to pandemic planning and preparedness” said Steve Aldrich, CEO of Bio-era. “This offering takes what we have learned about what needs to be done, and puts it in an easy to deploy package that allows organizations to coordinate and track the success or their disaster preparedness efforts. At the same time the system provides auditable reporting that can be useful for insurance or other compliance requirements.”

Public health experts, including those from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are warning that the threat of a global influenza pandemic is greater than ever. If a pandemic flu emerges, the shock waves sent through the global economy would be immediate and far-reaching. The SARS outbreak in 2002–2003, which according to bio-era estimates caused economic damages of $30-$50 billion, provides the most recent reference point for understanding the implications for businesses and economic systems. An influenza pandemic would likely have much more severe consequences. The potential for future business disruptions related to Avian Influenza provides an opportunity to focus the organization around a well-defined threat and use that process to drive broad-based disaster preparedness and response.

Disaster Response

Disaster risk management goes beyond planning. For many companies, preparedness will ultimately turn into action. In the event of an influenza pandemic, for instance, the strains on corporate communications capabilities would be extraordinary. Employees will need information on what is happening both inside and outside the organization, on company policies and corporate decisions, and on government decisions and scientific and medical information that may affect operational decisions. By creating - in advance - a platform for collaboration and communication, companies can strengthen their capability to respond effectively to emergency conditions in which the number of inquiries from employees might otherwise swamp the capabilities of managers and planners. PowerSteering helps create such a platform to structure and organize flows of information. "A pandemic would almost certainly mean gaps in staffing at the most critical times," said Stephen Aldrich. "Creating a clearinghouse for company information on this issue is one of the most useful things possible to prepare for unpredictable events," he added.

The PowerSteering platform provides the ability to plan and prepare, as well as to rapidly expand collaboration and communication during the response effort, via an internet platform that is more robust than many corporate networks. “We have a number of clients using the product today to manage recovery efforts on the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast, and we recognized that sooner or later this was a need for most organizations, whether in response to a supply disruption, the next hurricane Katrina, or a flu pandemic,” said David Boghossian, founder of PowerSteering Software.

The Disaster Preparedness and Response Solution was launched February 15, 2006 and is available by contacting either Bio-Era or PowerSteering Software.

About BIO-ERA

Bio Economic Research Associates (bio-era™) is a leading provider of independent research and advisory services on the emerging bio economy. Bio-era’s mission is to help decision-makers understand and respond to the risks and opportunities arising from the economic and societal impacts of human-induced changes to biological systems. The firm’s practice areas include biosecurity, bioenergy, and biotechnology.

About PowerSteering

PowerSteering Software is the leader in On-Demand Enterprise Performance Improvement. We provide flexible program management solutions for Lean, Six Sigma, Operational Excellence and other strategic initiatives including Merger Management, Product Development and Project & Portfolio Management. Our easy-to-use On-Demand solutions provide executives at GE, Raytheon, Textron, Tyco, IBM, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and others with real-time executive visibility, strategy alignment, and enhanced program and team effectiveness to drive strategy and accelerate results across the enterprise. PowerSteering Software manages more than $30 billion in target savings, supports more than 100,000 active users, and tracks more than 200,000 projects for more than 75 customers. Visit http://www.powersteeringsoftware.com for additional information.

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